Monthly Archives: November 2008

Stem cell breakthrough

Wow!! Finally something is happening after all the hype and controversy about stem cells. This woman had her windpipe replaced using her own stem cells: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1860891,00.html

This is really a major breakthrough. Because her stem cells were used on the skeleton of a donar windpipe, her body won’t reject it. No need for all those awful drugs organ transplant patients have to take to stop their body rejecting a donor organ.

I’m sure the drug companies aren’t so happy, but it will be a good few years before this type of procedure is routine so they should have time to come up with something else to sell! However, both patients and insurance companies should be happy about this.

Just think of all the things that could be helped by this – repairing spinal cord injuries by regrowing the damaged nerves – would help with multiple sclerosis too. Maybe Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s too by repairing the damaged brain tissues.

The other interesting point of this article is that the stem cells used were from the patient – her marrow. So no controversy about stem cell lines, etc.

Jan 19th:
News of another stemcell inovation – and by a Scot’s company: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/22/20090118/thl-uk-stemcells-reneuron-8004a53.html

Notice the comment about not being allowed to do this in the US.  I hope there is some good traction from this research and that it leads to more breakthroughs.

President won’t be IMing

So I read today that it is likely that when Mr Obama takes office he will have to surrender his Blackberry and is unlikely to even get a PC to use. Huh? The (supposedly) most powerful man in the world and he won’t be able to Google!

Now I can understand that the office requires that all communications be recorded for posterity or something, but does that have to include everything? What if his daughter wants to IM him about what is for dinner? Hardly of national importance and fit to record.

The reasons given sighted the need to protect against security invasions. Kind of troubling to think that even with all the resources available to him, they think that they can’t get a really good firewall up! Even if this is a concern, why not let him have a PC that is not connected to any other network so he can surf – and more importantly – keep up with all data sources for news and opinion? I would think that having access to as much information as possible would be of just as much national importance as securing him from virus’s.

If everything needs to be recorded – well isn’t that what back-up and fail-over servers do?

So instead of having a nice quick game of Solitaire to refresh his poor overworked braincells he will need to get out a real pack of cards. Will the security services have analyzed each of those card to make sure there are no hidden threats on them???

Scrabble

So I played Scrabble for the first time in years with my Mum the other day – she has been ill so I have been back in Scotland helping her recover. For all that she has been ill, she managed to beat me in both games!

Got me wondering though, does Scrabble in the US have more z’s in it than the UK version since there are more words that use a z where we (proper English types) use s’s?

Prioritise – prioritize!

Now I can’t think of anymore, but I know there are quite a few.

Amazing how your mind can go a complete blank when faced with trying to think of a word with a J in it somewhere! Course, my Mum used to be a nurse so she had all these words that I felt were a little dubious. We actually had to dig out the dictionary because I wasn’t convinced. She was right though!